What Animals Eat Lemons? (7 Examples + Pictures)

Last updated on November 4th, 2022

If you are an amateur gardener, you must have tried your hand to grow several fruits and vegetables. As an amateur gardener myself, I, too, tried growing lemons in my backyard.

The lovely citrusy smell of the fruit and even the strong citrus odor of the tree’s leaves is what attracted me to the plant.

But once the fruits and the trees began to ripen, they started to attract different types of rodents and insects that would feed on the fruit.

It also significantly reduced the harvest that I could gather from my lemon tree.

When I spoke of my woes to a friend who has been gardening for many years, I learned that several animals eat lemons. So I thought I would compile the following list of animals that eat lemons:

Animals that eat lemon:

  • Butterflies
  • Cockatoos
  • Goats
  • Chickens
  • Woodpeckers
  • Parrots
  • Squirrels

List of animals that eat lemon:

1. Butterflies

butterfly eating lemon 19022022

Butterflies are not harmful to your ripe lemons as their proboscis is not strong enough to penetrate the solid outer skin of lemons to suck the juice from inside the fruits.

But when the fruits ripen, you will find butterflies flitting around the lemon trees. Butterflies are also attracted to lemon juice.

If you love to watch butterflies flit around your garden, saving fresh lemon peels is a good idea.

Collect the lemon peels and keep these in a shallow dish with water to draw out the juices. Then keep the dish in a location where butterflies are more likely to come.

You will find that these beautiful insects enjoy sitting on these peels, and they will suck the remaining juices from the surface of the peels with the help of their proboscis.

2. Cockatoos

cockatoos sitting on tree branch 19022022

Cockatoos might not be a problem for many amateur gardeners, but I have read many stories about cockatoos attacking lemon farms.

Generally, cockatoos avoid citrus fruits, but they love to eat lemons, especially as a treat.

Moreover, not all lemons are incredibly sour, and some of them can be mildly sweet, which appeals to the cockatoos.

As a result, farmers growing lemons of different varieties often have to put up nettings to prevent the birds from reaching the fruits.

Unfortunately, the birds are usually unable to distinguish between the sweet and the sour lemons, and they will attack all the fruits on the tree.

Therefore, if you have cockatoos visiting your garden and you have a lemon tree, then it is a good idea that you take precautions to protect your harvest from the birds.

3. Goats

goat eating leaves 19022022

Goats love to eat lemon peels and animal farmers raising goats often include lemon peels in the regular diet of the creature.

When farmers prepare goat feeds, lemon rinds are often mixed to ensure that the goats get an adequate dose of Vitamin C.

But the essential factor that most goat owners have to keep in mind is that lemons do not form a part of the natural diet of the creature.

Hence, it would help if you offered lemons to goats in moderation.

Too much acidity can cause harm to the digestive system of the animal and cause it digestive distress.

4. Chickens

chicken 13112021

If you have a friend who loves to raise chickens in his backyard, you should tell him that he should offer lemons to his pet birds.

Lemons have fantastic health benefits for birds. Your friend will find that the quality of eggs laid by his chickens will improve after he has included lemons in their diet.

The Vitamin C and antioxidants in lemons can help the chickens build a robust immune system that helps the birds lay better eggs.

Chickens love to eat lemons as snacks and they love to peck on the flesh of the fruit.

5. Woodpeckers

woodpecker 19022022

Woodpeckers generally avoid lemons because the bitter outer skin of the fruit acts as a deterrent.

Therefore, if you are an amateur gardener and have observed some damage to the lemons on your tree, it is probably not caused by the woodpeckers nesting nearby.

Woodpeckers sometimes peck at the fruit to get the essential oils from the surface of the fruit. This they extract to apply on their feathers.

However, you will hardly see woodpeckers in the wild, consuming lemons.

But when the birds are bred in captivity, they are sometimes given peeled lemons in sparing quantities to include Vitamin C in their diet.

6. Parrots

parrot eating lemon 19022022

Parrots like cockatoos are known to like eating citrus fruits.

They like to eat the fleshy pulp of lemons as well as pineapples, and you will find that they will take to eating these fruits with absolute gusto.

Citrus fruits like lemons contain several vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, fiber, Magnesium, and Potassium.

These are essential for the health of parrots and if you have a pet parrot, you can include a moderate amount of lemons in its regular diet.

You will sometimes hear about flocks of parrots attacking lemon fields, which can spell disaster for the farmers.

Parrots consume the fruit and bite off the young shoots and the young leaves of the plant.

Thus, even in the wild, parrots are known to eat lemons, and they can be considered a pest when it comes to lemon harvests.

7. Squirrels

squirrel eating lemon 19022022

Squirrels can prove to be quite dangerous for your lemon tree.

These tiny furry creatures with sharp teeth can bite into the skin of the lemons and extract the pulpy flesh inside the fruit.

Any amateur gardener or farmer who has been cultivating lemons for several years will tell you that you need to squirrel-proof your lemon trees if you want to save your harvest from rodents.

Sometimes squirrels can even bite into the bark and shoot, destroying your entire lemon tree.

Therefore, if you want to protect your harvest and your lemon plant from squirrels’ attack, you must take steps to prevent them from reaching the fruits.

Sometimes you might feel that squirrels are not pests, but if you do not prevent them from visiting your lemon trees regularly, you will find half-eaten lemons hanging on the tree.

Not just lemons but squirrels are also known for snacking on grapes as well.

What animals eat lemon?

butterfly eating lemon 19022022

The animals that eat lemons are butterflies, cockatoos, goats, chickens, woodpeckers, parrots, and squirrels. However, these creatures rarely consume citrus fruit because they have other sweet and juicy options available.

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